Over on the Horse's Ass blog a commenter reported on a Google experiment he ran, to see on how many web pages the word "Bush" - as in President George W. - showed up on the web site of Republican Senate candidate Mike McGavick. The answer was: none.
This seemed an intriguing tidbit, so we checked it out. We ran the check and got the same result. Then we switched to Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell's campaign site and ran the same search. The answer this time: 11 pages.
Is this is a trend?
If you move to what may be the most strongly contested House race in Washington, in the 8th district, the campaign site for Republican incumbent Dave Reichert has 105 pages with "Bush" in it - supposedly; but most of those seem to be empty placekeeper pages. And try searching for "Bush" or "George Bush" using the campaign's own search tool, and you get 0 responses. Try the Google experiment on the site of Reichert's Democratic opponent, Darcy Burner, and you get 35 hits on what mostly seem to be real pages.
The campaign web site for 5th District Representative Cathy McMorris turned up no hits. In the 4th District, Republican Doc Hastings' site did bring up eight Bush pages.
In the case of Oregon's lone Republican U.S. representative, Greg Walden, a Google search says his campaign site mentions "Bush" only once, in a reprint of a newspaper article.
There tend to be more references on the campaign web sites of Republicans in red Idaho.
But without pressing the point too far, it does seem reasonable to say that in Washington and Oregon, a number of Republicans are stepping cautiously in linking themselves to the White House these days.